WORCESTER, Mass. – Nikolas Moquin (Goffstown, N.H.) amassed 298 passing yards to set a new single-game record and teammate Dominic Casale (Freeport, Maine) surpassed 1,000 career receiving yards as Maine Maritime Academy football fell to WPI 51-20 in NEWMAC action at Alumni Stadium on Saturday.
Moquin's 298 yards, surpassed David Robinson who threw for 287 yards against UMass.-Dartmouth in 1991. Moquin connected with Maine Maritime receivers 22 times, and threw for three touchdowns.
Casale amassed 89 yards on six catches and two touchdowns to surpass 1,000 career receiving yards, becoming just the seventh player in Maine Maritime history to achieve that milestone.
The Mariners totaled a season-high 364 yards of total offense, including a season-best 328 passing yards and tallied three offensive touchdowns, on a tough Engineers' defense that had been holding opponents to just nine points in their previous four games.
With the loss the Mariners fall to 0-5 overall and 0-2 in the NEWMAC, while WPI, the top team in the latest Grinold Chapter New England Division III Top 10, improves to 5-0 on the season and 2-0 in the conference.
WPI took their opening drive 64 yards down the field and scored on just their second play, when Connor Field rushed 55 yards into the end zone. Bryce Wade added an extra point and the hosts took a 7-0 lead in the first minute of play.
Senior Trenton Bouchard (Winslow, Maine) recorded the fifth interception of his career when he picked off WPI's Julian Nyland early in the first quarter. Late in the first quarter, the Mariners orchestrated a 9-play, 65-yard drive that set up a 27-yard field goal attempt by Maxwell Horton (Eliot, Maine), but the Engineers blocked the attempt and Brendan Chipman found Austin Pesce on the next play for an 80-yard touchdown toss.
Maine Maritime's offense struggled to find consistent momentum in the first half, and the Engineers took a 34-0 lead into halftime.
The Mariners opened up the second half with a 19-play, 75-yard drive that was capped off by a four-yard touchdown toss from Moquin to junior John Friend (Islip, N.Y.) to cut the deficit to 34-6 but the Engineers added 17 points in the fourth quarter to claim the victory.
Moquin connected with Casale for a 12-yard touchdown reception midway through the final quarter and again for a 7-yard touchdown catch with 13 seconds to play to account for the Mariners' other scores.
Freshman Reed Hopkins (Augusta, Maine) pulled down seven catches for 85 yards while junior Mason Kaserman (Portland, Maine) caught eight passes for 81 yards and Friend ended the afternoon with 33 yards on three catches and a touchdown.
Defensively junior Aren Dickman (Scarborough, Maine) led the Mariners with six tackles, including five solo stops and senior Kaleb Watkins (Rome, Maine) tallied two tackles, including a tackle for a loss of three yards.
WPI's Nyland ended the afternoon with 128 yards on 10 completions and a touchdown, while Sean McAllen led the running backs with 183 yards on nine carries and three touchdowns, and Connor Field added 102 yards on six carries and a score. Pesce led the WPI receivers with 80 yards, on his one catch for a touchdown.
Nick Ostrowski led the Engineers with 10 tackles, eight solo and a tackle for a loss of three yards.